Did you know that periodontal disease and other oral health maladies in pregnant mothers can actually affect the oral health of children once they are born? Pregnancy and parenting are huge undertakings, and it often seems like there are a million things to think about every minute! As holistic dentists, we are here to help. We believe that oral health is extremely important in every stage of your life, and we take a holistic approach that takes into account your overall health and needs. We have put together this guide to help you understand the importance of prenatal dental care, and give you the tools and information you need to ensure your child has their best chance at a happy, healthy smile from the very beginning!
How does my oral health affect my child before they are born?
Studies have shown that pregnant mothers can actually pass down cavities and other dental maladies to their children. The bacteria that causes these issues can be passed down to the child before they are even born, as oral health is a part of one’s overall body health. Research has also shown evidence that periodontal disease in pregnant mothers can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. During your pregnancy, be sure to continue to see your dentist regularly as part of your prenatal care to ensure that you are taking all of the precautions necessary to keep your smile healthy.
Important Nutrients During Pregnancy
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling during pregnancy. In addition to issues like cavities and oral bacteria, a pregnant mother’s oral health can actually be a useful indicator to help determine whether or not she is getting all of the nutrients she needs. Many people believe that a fetus gets its nutrients from the mother’s organs. However, this is not the case. The fetus absorbs the calcium and other nutrients it needs from the mother’s diet, not from her teeth or any other body parts.
While your baby will not be removing any pre-existing nutrients from your body, you will still want to adjust your diet to make sure you are taking in enough vitamins and nutrition for the both of you. Your doctor will be able to help you determine which foods you need to focus on incorporating into your diet and if whether or not you need to consider supplements. Everyone’s diet and needs are different, but most doctors suggest that their pregnant patients consume extra folic acid, B12, and iron. You’ll also want to make sure you are drinking plenty of water!
We hope that this guide helps demystify some common pregnancy concerns, and puts your mind at ease about some of the myths that exist out there. If you are pregnant or planning on having a child soon, schedule an appointment with us today! We would ove to help you and your family maintain good oral health is a holistic way!